LIMA — The new coronavirus pandemic has affected business like never before.
Some businesses that are deemed essential are keeping their doors open and taking precautions to flatten the curve.
Internet companies are actually busier than before COVID-19 hit.
“We got a big push from companies to be able to work remotely. Not only to access their systems and their data, but also to extending their phone systems to people to be able to work from home,” said Michael O’Connor, owner of WCOIL. “For probably a good two or three weeks, we were busier than normal and now, those companies that are working from home are finding out that things are working pretty well.”
O’Connor says technology-wise the internet has been able to handle the increased load.
“Ten years ago the internet was around but we didn’t have the technology as far as the bandwidth and capacity, the security to do all this stuff, but it was a fairly smooth transition and a lot of people are finding out that they can do their job from home or really from just about anywhere,” O’Connor said.
For the most part, technicians don’t have to go into people’s homes and can do troubleshooting remotely.
“It’s actually relatively few situations where we do have to go on-site and then once when those situations arise, we take the necessary precautions and do that but surprisingly, we could do a lot of our work remotely right from our office here,” O’Connor said.
Repair technicians in other local businesses have to use precautions when fixing equipment that’s broken.
Tracy’s Appliances have been keeping busy installing, removing or repairing appliances.
“We go to a lot of people’s homes and we do the mask, we do the booties, we do the gloves, we do everything we can do to help and some people really respect that and some people don’t care,” said Jeff Tracy, owner of Tracy’s Appliances. “We take their temperature. We try to do all the things we’re supposed to do and we’ve had customers take their temperature, you know.”
Bindle’s Appliances remains open with their technicians doing deliveries and repairs.
“We’re doing emergency things right now until the state opens up,” said Barry Bindle, owner of Bindle’s Appliances. “A lot of my employees have younger children and they’re not working because of all that’s going on but I’m in here writing up service calls, selling parts across the counter.”
His service technicians have been limited in what they’re doing now.
“They’ve been basically doing very little because of all of this going on. When they do go out they have a mask on and gloves on. They’ve been very conscientious with everything,” Bindle said.
At Washam Plumbing, Heating and Air, their technicians have taken precautions to help the virus from spreading.
“We have the proper PPE to wear and you can only social distance as much as you can,” said Samantha Washam-Lescallett, office manager for the business. “Homeowners aren’t really getting close to our technicians when we go in but yes, we’re still working just as much as we were before. Unfortunately, problems aren’t stopping,”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.